November 2017 archive

How to Deal with December Without Going Crazy

How to Deal with December Without Going Crazy

If you‘re like me you may be a little overwhelmed when mid-November rolls around and you haven’t started thinking about Christmas yet.  The fun countdowns don’t seem so fun anymore.  They seem like they are judging you on the progress you have made so far on the to do list that is a mile long.  Did you make the party menu, shop for your niece and nephew, wrap the gifts for your mother-in-law’s party this weekend?  These tips are designed to get you through the holidays judgement and stress-free.  Let’s do this.

Get organized and decorate early so you’re not overwhelmed

There are so many things moms have to take care of during the holiday season.  I like to start early enough to give myself breathing room. Think about your Christmas cards early.  If you know you are going to need to set up a family photo shoot in early October, then make sure you have set this up in the summer.  Then get your outfit ideas out of the way so it doesn’t sneak up on you.  Check out my Pinterest board for great ideas for photo shoot clothing ideas.  Also, here is an amazing post by a local photographer who did a family photo shoot for my entire family on my grandmother’s 80th birthday.  She gives some great tips on planning for Christmas cards.  I also like to give the house a little spring cleaning in the fall.  When I take down my regular decorations to put up my Christmas decor, I do not want to put it in a filthy mess.  I want clutter free areas that are dust free.  Go through your house and look for areas that can use a little attention before pulling out more stuff.

Get your Christmas cards done early for a stress free December.

Schedule Traditions early on the calendar

Write down all events that you have to attend.  These are your non-negotiables.  If you know every year you do 3 family parties, a special dinner, and Christmas Eve service at church then make sure those get on the calendar in October.  Then as plans come up you may have to say no to some events that just don’t work out or may interfere with the “must do” on your calendar.

Stay on your eating and workout program

Everyone wants to look their best in family photos around the holidays.  But even more importantly, I want to feel my best and have energy to do all the things I need to do around the busiest time of the year.  I want to be healthy, and be at my best for my family.  The best way to do that is try to go to bed and wake up at the same time you normally do.  Sleep habits are so important. I also have noticed when I go on vacation and change my eating habits that I feel horrible.  You are going to indulge a little, but don’t eat from Halloween to New Year’s as if you’re on vacation.  Your body will thank you in January.

Shop early and wrap as you go

I try every year to get my shopping done by the end of November so I can really enjoy December.  I don’t think I’ve every officially made it.  But I try really hard.  Shopping and wrapping takes a lot of physical and mental energy. I love getting people thoughtful and meaningful gifts.  I think it is great to ask the person directly what they want.  If they give me a list I can get them something they really want.  One year I asked my mom to paint my office for Christmas.  It may not have been conventional, but she’s an amazing painter and she was thrilled to do something for me that I really wanted. If you can’t get out to the stores you can still do your shopping from home by shopping online.

Shop early and wrap gifts as you go-yourstrulyjenn.com

Know Your Theme Early

You may think I’m crazy, but I already know the theme for Christmas 2018 and have some ideas for how I will decorate. The reason I do this is for the amazing after Christmas sales and because I shop year- round for good deals.  Here are some items I have bought during the year that become available for better prices at other times.  Keep your eyes open for wrapping paper, lanterns, candles, crystal, dinnerware, placemats, and ribbon.  Plus you may have a certain budget at Christmas since you’re also purchasing Christmas gifts for your family or entertaining.  Spreading it out during the year makes it a little more cost effective.

I hope this was helpful. I want you to enjoy the holidays with friends and family and make December 2017 your best holiday season yet.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Holiday FAQ

I recently posted a picture of my tree from last year to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and got some different questions.  I thought I would do a holiday FAQ session and answer those questions that others have asked me in person and across social media.  I would love it if you would share this post with your friends.  They may get some good tips that will help them this season with their holiday decor.

Q.  Do you let your kids help you decorate?

A.  My husband and kids really get into Christmas and the home decor. Sometimes I will say, “well I’m not going to put up that tree this year.” And they really make a fuss. So of course I always change my mind and put up all the trees.  Even though I change things around I try to do the important things they like.  They always do the “family tree” with our Hallmark and homemade ornaments.  You know the ones you made at school when you were little.  I leave the creative process to them on this tree entirely.  I pretty much do the rest of the house with whatever theme I choose for that year.  That way everyone is happy.

Q.How long does it take you to complete a tree?

A.  This is hard to answer.  The bigger the tree the more time it takes me.  The thing that takes me so long is getting all my boxes out, putting them in the right rooms, and then pulling the trees out and fluffing them.  Although, is this not my favorite part of decorating, fluffing your tree is the one thing that will make it look like a whole different tree.

There are some 9’ trees with large diameters that take me a couple days. Between putting it together, fluffing, decorating, and tweaking it, it is a huge job.  But a 6 ½ foot tree would only take me like an hour and a half.  I could whip that little guy out in no time.  I would definitely set aside a couple hours where you could work on it without breaking.  I think you would feel you really made a lot of progress then you could work on it here and there to finish it. Don’t forget to add something cute at the bottom.

Coastal Christmas tree done in blues and greens for a local business.

Q.  Do you decorate before or after Thanksgiving?

A.  This is the big question everyone wants answered. Since I blog, I always put my stuff up before Thanksgiving.  I need time to decorate down to the smallest detail, photograph it all, and edit all my photos to upload on my blog starting at the end of November.  However, I am lucky that my neighborhood is one that on average is filled with early decorators.  I would say if you are hosting Thanksgiving at your home, continue to have some fall items up, but if you’re not hosting then go for it.

 

Q.  Do you decorate trees for other people?

I decorated this Coastal Christmas tree for a local business.

A.  I do. I mainly decorate for businesses, but have done some for residents that have asked me as well.  Last year, I also worked with an amazing builder, Tara Preston, at her Homearama home.  I helped decorate the Christmas portion of the house.  My tree was showcased in the paper to advertise the event.  That was a huge honor.  I love Christmas decorating.  It makes your home so festive and really makes me happy to do it for my family.

I had so much fun creating this traditional red and gold tree for a local builder for homearama Christmas edition.

Good luck with all your decorating this holiday season.

Happy Holidays

Yours Truly,

Jenn